Posted on April 10 2019
Since you don't see them when you glance in the mirror, it's easy to forget about the back of your arms. But you need to work your triceps to tone that area. Running from your shoulder to your elbow, the main job of this muscle is to straighten your elbow, which is a really common motion, so you can actually work this area in many exercises. From controlling a dumbbell back to the starting position in a bicep curl to straightening your arms at the top of a push-up, focus on what the triceps are doing to squeeze the most out of your reps.
Here's a collection of 7 triceps exercises for you to rotate into your sweat sessions to start strengthening them; pick two to three of these exercises for each workout. It's a mix of bodyweight moves and dumbbell and band exercises.
Flip the push-up over, and you get this move that really works the tris.
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your hands behind you, with your fingertips pointed toward your butt. Lift your pelvis off the ground, straighten your elbows, and shift your weight back so your shoulders are directly over your hands.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your pelvis toward the floor, then press into the floor to straighten, but not lock, your elbows; this completes one rep.
This is a classic triceps exercise.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forward from your hips, bending the knees slightly. Bend your elbows behind you.
- Straighten your arms behind you, with your palms facing in. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Squeeze your triceps, and then return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
Yes! You can work your triceps lying down, but you will need weights.
- Grab a set of dumbbells, and start by lying on your back with the knees bent.
- With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
- Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent and pressing in toward your head.
- Lift your arms back to starting position. This is one rep.
This exercise will tone your arms, abs, and butt.
- Begin in a strong tabletop position with your hands under your shoulders, your knees over your ankles, your pelvis lifted off the floor, and your fingers pointed toward the sides.
- Lift your left leg up and reach your right hand toward your left toes. Return your hand and foot to the floor, lifting the pelvis back to tabletop by squeezing the glutes — this is where the butt toning happens. This completes one rep. Switch sides for the next rep.
This exercise focuses on the triceps from different angles.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Bend your elbows behind you, keeping your upper arms even with your back.
- Bend your knees to come into a half squat while creasing at your hips so your spine is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your spine neutral with the pelvis and head, forming one long line.
- As you exhale, simultaneously extend your right arm straight out in front of you and the left arm straight behind you. Rotate both wrists so your front palm is down and your back palm is up.
- With control, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. This completes one rep.
Overhead Triceps Extension
This exercise is similar to the skull crusher, but by standing you will be working your core more.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart.
- Hold one dumbbell (go for your heavier weight) with both hands, bending the elbows behind your head.
- Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, and then slowly bend the arms to lower. This counts as one rep.
Bringing the arms close to the torso makes the triceps work harder in the push-up.
- Begin in plank position, with the arms and body straight, shoulders over the wrists. Keep the core engaged.
- Bend the elbows behind you and lower your chest to the floor. Keep your upper arms tight to your body so your elbows are against your ribs on both sides.
- Straighten the arms, coming back to plank position.
- This counts as one rep.